Hoffman Hayride (KPTV)
Television was beginning to become a new visual medium of entertainment. H. Leslie Hoffman,
CEO of Hoffman Electronics Corporation was determined to create a television market. One
way to do that was to create demand through a live program using local entertainers that
they could demonstrate on their sets in their dealer's stores.
One such show originated over KPTV in Portland, Oregon. Dave Blackmer in his "Tele-View" column
that KPTV was updating its schedule to include local live programs. One such show was
to be a "TV Jamboree" that would be hosted by Taylor Morris and the Country Gentleman starting
on May 8. It was a 30-minute show that aired on Friday night at 7:00pm.
It was probably no coincidence the show went on around that time. Mr. Blackmer informed readers
of his column on April 24, 1953, that Hoffman Television had "invaded" the Salem market for the
weekend - a "Hoffman Value Days" promotion to advertise their new 1953 models.
Because the access to newspapers online does not include Portland newspapers at this time, we
were unable to really obtain any detailed information about the show except for the occasional
mention of guests on the show or some programming note.
In June of 1953, Taylor had his two small children on as guests - Doranna (age 7) and Tana (age 6).
In July of 1953, the Statesman newspaper indicated that The Square Dancers were featured on all of the shows
broadcast that month.
On July 29, 1953, Dave Blackmer informed readers that the show was cancelled after the last show
broadcast on July 31. The show was to be replaced in that time slot by the Gene Autry Show.
However, that may have been a temporary hiatus, perhaps due to the host's peformance schedule,
perhaps due to budget, or other unknown factors. But We did find the "Hoffman Hay Ride" (yes,
the spelling of the show differed in newspapers) listed on KPTV's schedule for Friday,
October 2, 1953 at the usual 7:00pm slot.
The Hoffman Radio Corporation was an early pioneer in television broadcasting in the western part
of the United States. Its founder and president, H. Leslie Hoffman was instrumental in showing
that electronics manufacturing could be done just as well on the west coast. Up to World War II,
that type of manufacturing was done in the eastern United States. The Hoffman Radio Corporation
convinced the government to give it some of its contracts during the war time efforts and
that continued long after the war. Elsewhere on this site for a Hoffman Hayride show, we will
go into deeper detail of the Hoffman story.